Hours after the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana Bill, the Congress witnessed a rapid realignment of loyalties with staunch supporters of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy deserting him, even as seven of his ministerial colleagues sent in their resignations. Union Minister D. Purandeswari resigned her Cabinet post and party membership. She sent her resignation to the party president Sonia Gandhi.

The dwindling support base of Mr. Kiran Reddy among the legislators and Ministers has now cast a shadow on his plans to launch a new political party after resigning as Chief Minister. Only one Minister — P. Satyanarayana — and 12 MLAs are standing by him as of now. These are the legislators who do not have a chance to get into other political parties.

Ministers G. Srinivasa Rao and Erasu Pratap Reddy, close supporters of Mr. Kiran Reddy, have put in their papers. They are planning to join the Telugu Desam Party. PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana’s efforts to woo Ministers and legislators away from Mr. Kiran Reddy’s camp seemed to have paid off.

The dominant argument among those who deserted Mr. Kiran Reddy is that there is no use in launching a party on a United A.P. plank after the bifurcation is completed.